More than seven in 10 Americans are watching video on a connected TV (CTV) device as the COVID-19 pandemic limits their opportunities for social engagement and summertime activities, according to data presented in an infographic released in June by data-driven marketing tech firm Zeta.

The growing popularity of CTV isn’t new. Since 2016, linear TV consumption has dropped 8.5% while that of CTV has grown 55%, according to the Zeta infographic.

However, the linear-vs.-CTV-viewing trend isn’t quite as cut and dried as the findings seem at first blush. Some of the most popular CTV services, such as Hulu, offer as many linear television channels in their premium subscription packages as traditional MVPDs. 

The difference between linear TV and CTV offerings—at least when it comes to how Zeta tallies findings for its infographic—is in what the marketing tech firm chooses to emphasize in its definition of connected TV, says Christopher Hansen, senior vice president of product strategy.

“If you think about connected TV, at least in the way our industry as marketers are talking about connected TV, [it] is the channel [i.e. service] you are consuming on,” he says. “It’s less about the content….” 

Find out more at TVTechnology